Aircraft Detection Lighting Systems: A Tool to Reduce Turbine Lighting Impacts
Presentation Description: Not in my backyard! One of the barriers to wind energy development in more densely populated areas is stakeholder concerns of light pollution due to aircraft lighting. Increasing demand for renewable energy and taller turbines are driving development into areas with higher population densities while necessitating additional turbines to be lit in order to meet regulatory requirements. Additionally, permit restrictions and wildlife mitigative measures have potential to conflict with increased aviation lighting and therefore interfere with the successful development of wind projects. Welcome a new mitigative tool: Aircraft Detection Lighting Systems (ADLS)! Solas Energy Consulting participated in the planning, deployment, and certification of one of the first ADLS systems at two wind farms in the United States. This case study will begin with a description of the ADLS technology and summarize of the evolution of aircraft lighting permit requirements in the US as turbine heights increased over time. Participants will walk through the process these projects worked through to obtain regulatory approval on a technology not previously implemented in the US and discuss how the projects were retrofitted to install the ADLS systems. We will discuss community reactions and engagement to the project, before and after the ADLS installation. Finally, obstacles that arose and lessons learned during the two years of successful operation since installation, including ice damage to radar units, will be illustrated.